Reverend’s touching tribute to Co Tyrone boy Jake Rankin after cancer battle


An eight-year-old boy from Co Tyrone who died of cancer has been described by his local pastor as a “special little boy”.

Jake Rankin of Castlederg died in the early hours of Sunday morning after a battle with illness.

At Jake’s funeral on Tuesday at St. Bestius Church in Killeter, Reverend Peter Ferguson paid tribute to Jake and his family who had endured difficult days during his illness.

“I always thought that if the time came to say goodbye to someone so young, I would be hard pressed to find the words. With Jake, that was not the case at all, ”Reverend Peter said during the service.

“In fact the opposite was the case, those words came and flowed so easily, because everything I want to say now has been written by Jake and with the help of the Lord.

“Jake gave me all the words I could have asked for and more, in his example, his nature and his inspiring ways. Me and we knew Jake, we loved Jake and in turn Jake touched our hearts and our hearts. lives.

Jake’s mother and father, Shalane and Derek, were present at Jake’s funeral, alongside his brother and sister Nikita and Samuel, whom Reverend Peter said Jake looked after him so well.

“Jake showed a strength, which was an example and an inspiration to me and to all of us. Jake showed a strength that carried his family and all of us. Jake never complained, he never thought to himself.

“He kept thinking about you and everyone else. When they went out to buy a toy or a magazine, Sam and Nikita also had to buy something. “

On behalf of Jake’s parents, the Reverend thanked the local community and the church who have supported them in recent months.

“I know the family would like me to share how much they have been supported by our church and our community.

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“Daryl and Shalane’s work has been so understanding and has given them time to fully focus on family life with Jake, Sam and Nikita this year.

“They have received support from the Castlederg Terminally Ill Fund, their school and religious community, truckers and many more.

“Special mention must also go to the medical care received at home, in our community and in Belfast hospitals. “

Jake attended Edwards Primary School in Castlederg and has been described as a “popular and devoted boy in all of his classes”.


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